Save A Prayer

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Scribe Notes
The adventure takes place on the Isles of Freedom and is run in parallel with Flute Interlude.

Summary

Adventure: Save A Prayer
GM: Mandos
Session: Winter 807 wk
Night: Thursday at Chez Mandos
Level: Low Medium

Party
  1. Brundar - A male Dwarven Binder played by Ian Hasell.
  2. Kirgoth - A male Orc non-mage played by Noel. Currently shapechanged into a brutal looking, 6'4" human in plate surrounded by a crackling aura of power
  3. Anooke - a halfling Ice Mage played by Mike Haycock
  4. Logan - A human E&E played by Neil Davies.
  5. Menolly - A elven Earth Mage played by Karen Dransfield
  6. Shiraz - A human Earth Mage played by Christine
Employer
Sirth. A Dwarven Runesmith from the Isles of Freedom.
Mission
To locate and recover (intact) a flautist appropriate to play a magic flute created to destroy Kyanite Crystal. The flautist is believed to be a priest on the Isles of Freedom. The two items must be brought together by the Day of the Balai in order to destroy the remaining crystal.
Pay
10,000sp each in gems.

Adventure notes

(Written in a diary by Menolly)

Entry one

1st Frost

So, here we are again. Wandering off into the unknown in search of something missing. A person in this case. At the Guild meeting the Guild security told about an employer who is looking for a group of adventurers to go in search of a flute player. It's not just any old flute player, but a special one who is the only one who can play a special flute and save the day. Some other people are looking for the flute, it seems that went missing too. We are hunting for the player.

We got to the meeting room and I meet some lovely new people I haven't meet before. One is Brundar, he is a dwarf with this huge clay golem called Boris and a wee tiny cute golem called Marybelle. He is a funny chap, but he is after all a dwarf. Then there was Shiraz, she is an Earth mage, so that will be fun. I haven't partied with another one apart from Tannis so I might learn some new things. Then there was Anooke, a wee chap I think. Has some odd clothing (Red Samurai Armour). There was a chap called Kirgoth, who looked like he had come out the wrong end of a very bad grapple bush, with claw marks on his face. But he seems nice enough. And part way through the briefing a new chap turned up, very swish. Baron Logan, is the ambassador to the Lunar Empire. He has been to the Isle we are going to, so he is coming along as an advisor. Very nicely spoken chap.

Right, then onto the briefing. The employer, a dwarf called Sirth, who was dressed in the coolest armour (very pretty gems and runes) spoke through an interpreter and explained about why we need to find the flute player. Seems the crystal they need to destroy was somehow tuned by the not nice people of the Dark Circle and could be used for bad. He has organised wings for us to fly to the portal, that will take us to this new place I haven't been to. More flying, darn, I've had to leave my babies behind in the care of the stabling on Farm ? I don't like leaving them, especially since I haven't had Basil very long and want to make sure she is taken good care of. I miss my babies already.

Anyway, we discussed who would do what, who was good at what skills and spells. We devised a plan. I volunteered to write the notes again. Next time I am in the guild training I will have to spend some time training my study skills in the library. Hmm, so I'm the scribe. Brundar has been elected Party Leader. We thought him being a dwarf, and dwarfs being where we are going might help. And Baron Logan will be Military Scientist and Advisor to the Party Leader. We all got gear, buffed up with protection, and headed up to the tower to get our wings on so we could fly to the portal.

Good thing we got buffed too, my flying isn't the greatest... at least it was better than Kirgoth. He did a slam dunk into a big boulder and knocked his head silly. Luckily some nice chap came along and hammered a silver spike into his head and made him all better :) even fixed his missing ear. That was definitely an eye opener. I'm not sure which healing level that is but I want to learn it too.

We travelled through many caverns, and through funny little portals to more caverns and tunnels and more funny little portals and yet more caverns and tunnels. We did get to see a big blue dragon along the way, that was so cool. My first blue dragon. I wonder what it eats. I checked it out and it looked like a dragon but came back with a funny aura of a Fae Avatar and a name of Malesh but not sure if that's a name or a title. Not sure what he does, but the pile of treasure under it was gold, items and shells. I will have to look for something special to leave behind as a gift on our return.

2nd Frost

Eventually we got to the end of the travelling and came out on a ledge overlooking a huge underground bowel shaped cavern, maybe 90 ft deep. It was lined with living quarters and work spaces for the employers people. We were lead to a room where we could eat, and have a chat about the job.

We learnt that they had done some astrological readings, which are giving weird results. But they believe the flute player is a religious person from the Balai religion, maybe even a priest or acolyte. And albino. So we should head to the citadel for this religious group and start our search there. And when we do find this person, they must come willing to play the flute. So no kidnapping....

We talked to a number of people, and they spoke common, but it was a bit hard to comprehend. It seems the people here talk different languages, which could be a problem if we don't find a way of communicating. One of the people we met was a shaman called Shareal, who has cockroaches as his animal companions. Very cool. My speak to animals doesn't work on them, I'll have to find out if there is a spell for talking to insects. We also discovered wandering around top-side might have some problems. Mercenaries are outlawed, and we all wear armour and carry weapons. Plus magic is bad, people will think we are witches or necromancers and burn us. Plus Orks are killed on sight atm, since a group of them wiped out a village to the south. This will make Kirgoth wandering around very tricky. Oooh, I forgot, Shareal lent us one of his cockroaches so we can communicate with him. That's pretty cool. And he showed us how his communicating works by using a cauldron to see if he could locate the special priest we need to find. Very weird looking at the world from the floor level of cockroaches. He has also said that if we need help we can communicate through his cockroach to him. A useful offer.

(a doodle of a giant cockroach crawling across the page)

We talk some more and then have dinner... they eat monkey here. Icky. The vege dishes were nice, and very spicy. Very yummy. Then we were lead to a sleep room, with cool beds with four posts and everything. They look very comfy. Sleep time.

Entry Two

3rd Frost

One of the first things we discuss after breakfast is how we are going to travel around. What sort of cover story we will need. It seems merchants and others travel a lot on the rivers. So we could do this, except none of us can navigate... and Shiraz and I both aren't too keen on lots of water. Usually foreigners have to travel to some island called Setagen to ask for permission to travel around. We don't really have the time to do that, and we might get prisoned as mercenaries anyway.

We get advised to go talk to Vidal, an old wise man who lives in a boneyard. We should talk to him and seek his advise on travel, the language problems and finding our missing albino priest dude. We set off through the caverns, following our dwarven guide through a number of funny stick controlled portals. We eventually end up on the outside again, near the banks of a lake. From the cool comforts of the caverns, the outside is hot, humid and muggy. We traipse around the lake edges to the south western shore edge. We find a pagoda temple, and a well used path heading inland. We travel along the path, coming up to a village all up on high stilts. I guess the lake levels change alot around here. Anyway, we wander through the village and out the other side. What villagers we did see were all dressed in loin cloths, and that's all. We stick out a lot with all our clothes and armour. Anyway, after some further travel we come to a large arch all built of bones, and a fenced off area. The boneyard.

We are meet by a man who introduces himself as Vidal. Well, he starts out as an elf, and then changes to a vampire, and then a good looking human. Very odd. We introduce ourselves and discuss our problems. He offers to aid us, but his price will be some blood from us. Baron Logan offers his blood in payment, and Vidal casts some sort of thing, waving an odd fan at us all. And then we can all speak/understand the local language, some weird Folksprach dialect. Cool ability. Our problem with Kirgoth being an ork also needs a payment of blood. Anooke offers his and Vidal casts something and Kirgoth now is human, although pretty ugly even for a human. He still has some of his abilities as an ork, but mostly he is human. I wonder how that is going to play out.

Finally he farewells us, as he has another appointment. And as we leave a big gold dragon turns up. Wow, 2 dragons in 2 days. I did get a chance to confirm it was actually a gold dragon before he heading into Vidal's quarters. Anooke used some weird ice thing and discovered that the gold dragon was called Roche, and that is had been in suspended animation for 30,000 years and had only just recently been woken up. How weird is that. Anyway, that aside, we headed back to the dwarven caverns. More discussions about our possible cover story, maybe a group of barge guards looking for work? Or pilgrims travelling to the citadel to consult with the priests? Hmm. I check out the maps I copied from the Guild to work out where we are and where we need to go, and ask the dwarves for information which we add.

Entry Three

4th Frost

After breakfast today we got portalled to 100 miles from the capital Citadel. Our dwarf guide gave us what info he could, head downstream, and farewelled us. We headed off through the jungle. It's very thick, hot and muggy, and it was a bit of a slog. I'm very tired. Kirgoth was a trooper and lead the way whacking at the jungle to clear a path for us. After 5 hours of so of this we finally hit the edge of the river. We stopped for a late lunch and Brundar did some cool shaping of wood and got a tree cut down and all made into the shape of a boat. He even shaped a big stone into an anchor so we are all set to travel down the river tomorrow. All that hard work was very tiring, so we decided we would have food and then head down river in the night. Kirgoth has taken a fancy to monkey meat, and went hunting. I guess the advantage of being in the jungle is we can just pick fresh fruit and stuff as we travel. We organised staggered watches and travel into the night. Although I have liked boat trips in the past, this wee thin canoe thing is very off-putting. I have rigged up some pouches of dirt for each of my pockets. I hope that works.

Entry Four

5th Frost

We pulled into the bank for breakfast. Trying to heat water for tea is tricky on a boat. We made our usual morning preparations, grabbed some food and hopped back onto the river. Not long after this we spotted another boat, looked similar to ours, with a few people in loin clothes carrying machetes. Obviously the fish here are a bit nasty. Anooke tried some fishing and comes back with things with lots of teeth... Anyway, a bit after the first boat we travelled past our first village. A bunch of houses on poles along the side of the river. River is a bit bigger now. We then came to a river intersection and along one side of the river was thie cleared area, with a huge terraces hill. Very non-natural by the shape. And at the top there was a walled bit. Couldn't really see past the wall, and the terraced bit was around 300 feet high. Big. There was even an inlet at the edge of the river, obviously for parking boats to get to this place, but there weren't any boats in at the time.

(sketch of the terraces hill and walled bit)

We asked a passing boatman where Boenoel is, and he gestured that is was further downstream. So off we went. After another hour we came to this huge city. Boenoel. Very odd architecture for the middle of a jungle. The city is surrounded by a large wall. but it's rectangle. The other's say it's very Lunar empireish. I haven't been there so I don't know. The city has spread outside the walls and there is a floating shantytown of boats and rafts before you get to the actual harbour. We pulled in there and tied up the boat.

We packed up and clambered over the floating shantytown to the land bit. There was more shantytown outside the walls too, like a giant market where lots of jungle produce was on sale. Kirgoth was trying all sorts of things. I don't know how he has the stomach for it. Mostly the people in the shantytown part are in loin cloths, but as we got closer to the gates of the city people started being clothed in tunics and trousers. The markets also rose in quality of goods, clothing in the styles from Lunar, better cuts of meat and produce, lots of machete's for sale.

We travelled up to the gates and into the city. All the streets were straight. Absolutely straight, and the first levels of the houses seem to be all stone, stone bricks and the streets are all cobbles. with sewer tracks leading back out to the rivers edge. There are five main roads through the city and some minor roads. We had a wander around. We ended up travelling through the market place, lots of gold, herbs and wood. Really expensive wood. All housed in a large market atrium building. Was very impressed. I didn't see anything I wanted, which is always good.

One of the buildings that stands out in the skyline is a giant pagoda. We figured it might be the temple we need to find our priest in, so headed there. It was an impressive pagoda, with 4 large entrances at each side. In the centre of the temple was a statue of Balai, a 3 sided, 3 person figure, where the arms joined up and the heads joined up. Very interesting. And around the edges of the temple were lots of smaller shrines with other figures and objects. It was very peaceful and calm in there. A number of people were wandering around in reddish robes, acolytes or priests. I ended up asking one of the priests about the Balai and how I could learn more about it. He said I should talk to the the head priest. I asked if there was anything written and he told me that Pasir was where the book of the prophet lives. We also ended up asking one of them about where the Citadel was. And sadly it was that huge structure we passed this morning. Kantagaresh it is called. We will have to go back upstream to get there. We ask about a place he would recommend to stay at, and head off looking for lodgings.

We find a nice place to stay the night and discover that today is a special religious day. A holy day, and the reason we haven't seen anyone eating is because you aren't supposed to eat during the day. It's the New Year festival and after a special race, there is a big festival and feast after dusk. Oops. The race involves people climbing to the top of a tree and being the first to retrieve a special bell from the top. Apparently the winner will get good luck for the new year. The race also happens at dusk. So we wandered off to have a look at the tree and see what it was all about. The tree is huge and Kirgoth thinks this would be a bit of fun so enters himself.

A great crowd grows to watch the race. Many males prepare for the race. There are no females in it, just virgin boys (no concubines). And a lot seem to be acolytes from Kantagaresh. Dusk comes and the race begins. There is much pushing and shoving as well as the actual climbing. It seems anything goes in the way of barging your way to the top. There are some falls and a lot of crushing but after 45 minutes or so the call goes out someone has the bell. He then has to make his way down the tree, through the others to run through the city arch. A bigger shoving and pushing match happens but he is able to keep the bell and a huge cheer from the crowd happened. The priests did some stuff, and then the feast began. It seems that the local people and temple have been buying and donating food for the last 3 days for this feast. It was very yummy. Then after the feast the winner walked around the walls of the city, then the crowd joined in and the procession walked around 3 times, all for good luck for the coming year.

We wandered back to where we were staying and got talking to the owner. We discovered there was a ferry barge leaving at dawn going to Kantagaresh, so we can catch a ride there. Usually there is just one, but with all the acolytes and priests, there will be several ferrys. I left the others partying downstairs. I'm a bit tired. Early morning tomorrow.

Entry Five

6th and 7th Frost

(writing is slightly scruffier than usual) Boy did I make a whoopsy today. Oh well, these things happen. Anyway it went like this. I woke nice and early this morning, needing to catch the ferry and all. Some of the others were a bit worse for wear. Obviously the local drinks didn't agree. Useful being a healer at that point I guess. Anyway, we wandered down to the docks and caught a ferry, a barge really, to Kantagaresh. There were 3 barges, mostly full of acolytes, some others who were obviously visiting the Citadel and some supplies. The barge had sails, and was travelling up river, so it took a while and we didn't actually get to the Citadel until mid afternoon. A manoeuvre involving travelling up further, turning around and coming back down to be able to park in the quiet dock area.

We followed the other passengers up the terraced hill to the wall gates. It took a bit of time to climb up and when we got closer to the walls we noticed a lot of archers along the tops, with really large bows. Obviously well protected. They all look alot like all the acolytes that were on the barges, just older.

We were stopped at the gates and lead off to an anti-chamber. We are lead to a priest who asks us what we are here for. We say to speak to the Balani Kensin and get shown to a room and asked to wait. The room is small and barren, bare of anything except some benches. There were 2 doors, the one we came in and another one, plus two guards on the second door. We wait for 2 hours and nothing happens. So we ask the guards, but they don't say anything. We investigate the other door, it connects to another room, which is slightly bigger and slightly more opulent than the previous room. It also has another door out of it, guarded by another 2 guards. We ask them but still no response. We investigate the new door, which leads into another room more opulent than the previous. And so on. We went through 3 and went back to the beginning and sit down waiting again. I get too curious and say I'm going to follow the rooms to see where they lead, Anooke says he will stay here and proceeds to sleep on a bench. Kirgoth also stayed behind to practise his weapons.

The rest of us go through 10 different rooms, each room getting bigger, richly decorated, with refreshments out and still with 2 guards. In each room I look closely at the different features in the room, even the guards, seeing if there is any hidden clues as to the rooms nature. Several of the guards have aura's that worry me.

We finally get to the last room which has 2 doors out of it. Brundar and I grab both doors at the same time, and discover that curiosity does bite. My door knob was a trap and cuts off 3 of my fingers, so my right hand is now missing fingers. It makes holding this book rather hard. Brundar lost all of his fingers. My fault... luckily he has some sort of ability where he can grow back things, and so he says his hand will be as good as new in no time. We wandered back to the first room and settled down to wait.

Eventually a number of guards turned up, each relieving guards in the rooms. And then some more time passed and an hour after midnight a priest came in and called Kirgoth and Anooke off somewhere. We had to wait another 4 hours or so before we were called. We were lead to some rooms to sleep and then got woken a few hours later for our audience with the Balani Kensin. We are lead through some corridors, through outside where we see huge numbers of acolytes and monks waiting for the dawning sun. Off into another room where there are wooden chairs to sit on. We sit and wait. Not long afterwards a young boy dressed like the other priests walks in. Baron Logan introduces us and asks about the albino priest.

We are told that Brother Lucius is off to deliver herbs to a plague area in So'akadona area, and left several weeks ago down river.

The boy then walks out, our audience is over, and we are escorted out. As we are lead back through the courtyard the men have divided up into pairs, one standing and one sitting. The one standing yells at the one sitting, yelling what seems to be philosophy and the like. And then it all goes quiet, the men swap, and it begins again. Very odd. And as we are herded out of the Citadel, there a young men carrying yokes and buckets carrying water up the hill. Except the buckets seem to have holes in them, so the water runs out. They are all moving fast.

We end up back down at the docks waiting for the barge ferry to return.

I finally get a chance to talk to Baron Logan away from prying eyes, and ask him about what I saw in the guards auras. Several had the marks of a magical spell affect called Cauldron of Blood. I hadn't heard of it before. He tells me it is part of Blood magic. He only knows that it's a bad spell from Calamar used to peer at areas through the eyes of other people. I'm guessing it probably works like the shaman's cockroach spell, but using people. Icky. This is worrying, I hope we don't run into more of this. I check all the people in our group for signs of this spell, but don't find any. I wonder what the Calamar interest in the Kantagaresh is. I hope they aren't after Brother Lucius.

Anyway, a nap before the barge gets here sound good.

Entry Six

7th Frost (evening)

After lunch the barge pulled up and unloaded. We helped and then piled on board for the trip down river back to Boenoel. While I was asleep Kirgoth had been hunting snake and monkey, with plans on giving what he didn't eat to the poor of the city. So while we travelled he skinned and gutted them. One of the barge folk pulled out this huge jar of lemon grassy sauce stuff, and showed Kirgoth how dipping the raw snake into the sauce before eating it is very tasty. Icky. We also got to chatting to these barge folk and learnt a bit more about further down river. It seems the city of So'akadona is another province, called Matan. And the province is way down the river and along the coast a way. It's probably 2 weeks to the coast, and then not sure how long along the coast to get to the city. We will need to find a ship to take us down the river, and then buy passage onto a ship heading along the coast.

We travel back to the city and spend the remaining afternoon finding a boat to hire to take us down river. We eventually find a fishing boat and owner, who will take us for the cost of 5 porcelain bowls. (300sp) We leave in the morning.

Entry Seven

8th Frost

I can honestly say I am very tired of water, and it's only been one day. All this water makes me feel very unconnected. I am glad I packed some pouches of earth, at least I can touch that and feel partially ok. We make good time along the river, and the navigator has said if some of us take turns in the night we will cut our time down. We might be able to catch up with Brother Lucious. Anooke spent some time trying to catch more fish today. And when we made brief stops on the river bank to stretch our legs and grab some fresh fruit, Kirgoth did some hunting as well. There are rather big snakes along this way.

(doodle of a rather long snake, with intricate patterns, down the edge of the page)

Entry Eight

9th Frost

It seems the navigator is a bit of a skinning expert. With Kirgoth shooting so much game, I thought I'd try my hand at preparing some of the monkey and snake skins for tanning. He showed me a couple of techniques which I haven't seen before, and we have come to an agreement we will split the profit of selling any skins we prepare. I hope it will cover some of our travelling costs. Kirgoth is also trying to preserve the left over meat too. The cockroach is still well, I have tried all sorts of variations of my talking to animals but I still can't seem to get the right one. Oh well, something I might be able to learn later on... I wonder if there is a spell for this. Hmmm. And I have decided I want to learn how monkey's work. I think they would make an interesting companion, especially some of the small ones. I could even carry it while flying, so I wouldn't have to leave it behind... hmm, working out how to travel with dogs when flying transport is involved. I wonder if there is some sort of device I could get which I could pull along while flying, that flies as well. Then I wouldn't have to leave my babies behind.

Entry Nine

The dates look like they have been added at different times

10th Frost and 11th Frost and 12th Frost and 13th Frost and 14th Frost

More of the same, more river, more travelling, more hunting. Some of us have spent some time doing minor training, that you can do in a very thin fishing boat on a river. I spent some time listening to how this language we can temporarily speak works. I may spend some time back at the Guild actually learning it. Monkey's don't say too much either.

Entry Ten

15th Frost

Part of the way through today the river and jungle opened up into an open delta area and we could see the coast. We travelled along the northern branch of the delta up to the city, Koa'lakakap, and feel we are looking at Boenoel again. Another rectangle city, with straight walls and straight streets. It's huge, way bigger than Seagate. Probably 4 times as big. Many people here.

We head to the harbour, to try and secure passage to Soekadana. We find out it's 10 days south by ship along the coast, and there are three coastal traders in port at the moment. We get directed to the Ship Masters Office, above the local tea house. We meet the captain of the fleet (Vonones Norbanus Paetas of the House Paetas) and he has many pointy questions to ask about our travels already. Which House we travelled with, our papers and the like, which we didn't actually do since we flew and travelled by portals... which we don't mention. Of course Baron Logan does a great job of telling him what will suffice so that he will let us hire passage. However once the captain finds out where we are going, he is more reluctant. It seems Soekadana is in quarantine, and no ships going there can leave. So if we wish to go there, the closest they can go is up the coast a way, and then we will have to leg it ourselves. And once people are in the city, they are not allowed to leave, which could also be a problem.

Money in the end secures us passage, 200gs, and we will leave on tomorrow mornings tides. We will be travelling in the "Shadow Wind" ship.

We spent the remaining part of the day visiting the markets, I helped sell the skins I'd been tanning along the river trip. I hadn't realised how profitable they were, we made 300gs after the split. We purchased the bowls for our navigator. He is wishing to use them in the Ceremony of Loy Krathong, where bowls are put on the river, with lit candles in them, and let to float away, taking away the bad luck. Kirgoth thought it was a waste of bowls... but to each their own... We had been directed to a local Inn, and so we set up rooms, and plan on a nice evening. Some of the others have gone to watch some sort of gladiatorial entertainment but I want a bath and a quiet evening.

Entry Eleven

16th Frost

This morning we boarded the "Shadow Wind" and headed out of the harbour. Oddly enough, not long after clearing the harbour and city, the ship jerked about and then started speeding up. For a place that is supposed to dislike magic it seems some people still use it. After checking out things in and around the boat we figure the captain is a water mage of some sort and has the boat strengthened and can create a mage current to help speed things along. Our trip down the coast may be a lot shorter than estimated, which is all good. We will probably make the city in a few days, rather than the 8 we had been told.

There is much chatting through the day of trading, and his family, and what provinces do what. Logan was rather interested, but I much preferred staying close to the middle of the boat away from the edges... way too much water for me.

Entry Twelve

17th Frost

When dawn broke this morning, a small boat was lowered down off the ship and we get paddled to shore. We got dropped off at the mouth of a river, which is the boundary of the guaranteed area of the city, and end up walking from there.

We headed down the coast and eventually come out of the wilds and enter cultivated lands. Which are being patrolled, by guards in pairs. We were hailed by the guards, and told not to enter. We were warned about the plague that is decimating the city, but we tell them we are here to help Brother Lucius, and we are prepared to enter the area. After much yelling from a distance, and them getting one of their superiors, we get lead into the city.

We discover that Brother Lucius is sick, and this did worry us a lot. The city is a mess, dead bodies just lying everywhere. Sick people wandering about. The place had become rather deserted and run-down. We did discuss our own safety, and look into what we can do to help. After studying and observing several people and bodies we came to the conclusion that the sickness was caused by a curse, and unless the curse is removed any healing is just prolonging the life.

With more investigation we work out that a number of the sick people are wearing amulets, which also have a curse on them. And after much studying we work out the amulets have a small crystal rock in them, which Logan recognises as the same crystal rock our whole mission is set out to destroy. Kyanite rock crystal. It seems the crystal can be prepared to contain a certain aspect or spell. And these crystals have all been tuned to enhance the curse, and prolong it. Which is why the amulets are in such demand. Those that wear them seem to live longer than those not, even though they eventually end up dying anyway.

The amulets are evil, and the one place or people that Logan assumes as sent them here is the Calamar. Why, we aren't sure. It seems there were huge numbers of these amulets sent out as trading items. We wondered if any other city has been sent them as well. It could be very bad if more cities succumb to this plague.

We are lead to Brother Lucius only to discover he is missing. There looks like there was a very minor struggle. Same as if he was very sick... and while the city officials are rushing around looking for him, we investigate his room and work out he was grabbed and taken out of the window.

We eventually find another official who takes us to another Brother, Brother Ros who is now in charge, who is also in charge. We heal him as much as we can, and tell him how the amulets work. That they are evil and have a curse laid on them, to stop people being fully healed. He seems concerned that what the city has been using to stave off the plague has actually been perpetuating it. He passes on this information to the others there, at how people need to remove the amulets. He says he will seek guidance on these matters.

We tell him about Brother Lucius being kidnapped and how we intend to go after the kidnappers. We then leave him and start investigating the city. Half search the buildings and grounds where Brother Lucius went missing. And the others go investigate the city. Talking to locals, asking about any strangers in the city, checking out the docks for information on any mystery ships visiting port before the plague started. Tracks are found under the window of Brother Lucius's room. We eventually get back together and follow the tracks through the city. We talk to locals asking if they saw anyone go past, and get tales of a brother being helped. Our tracking leads us to the eastern wall and guard gate house. There were no guards, and the gate was open. Very odd for a quarantined city.

On investigation of the guard house itself we find a number of bodies, the gate guards and some different people. Some are partially stripped of items and gear. It seems a larger force battled with the gate guards, and made their way out of the city, and into the jungle. We debate letting the authorities know, and be delayed. Or chase after them and maybe catch up. We decide to give chase.

We are able to follow the tracks of 4 or 5 people, some being overloaded. The tracks head into the woods along a road that eventually turns into a path. The tracks give us that they are 4 hours or so ahead of us. After some time the path ends in a large pile of overturned dirt, obviously dug up and reburied in the last day. We dig and uncover a chest. Inside the chest are 8 splinges. These are 4th dimensional travelling gadgets which portal the holder to another place. And 8 is the number of the stranger bodies left in the guard house.

Examining the splinges, when activated they will take the holder several hundred miles to the south... somewhere.

So ever the hero's we prepare ourselves, powering up all our "danger" skills and spells, and then activate the splinges.

We turn up in a clearing, where there are 9 of the "bad guys" and Brother Lucius. The guys charge into combat and much hurting and slaying occurs. It's not a very nice sight, and although they are very good, we are able to take most of them down. One, an archer with a very funky bow, got away, plus the magical dude who was working on Brother Lucius when we can out of the splinges. We were able to capture one of the mercenary's for questioning, and we got back Brother Lucius alive but unconscious. We are the worst off however. Several of us have injuries which are quite severe and will take some time to heal. Neither Kirgoth or myself are good enough healers to fix bones and muscle.

We check the corpses for any clues of who they were, and discover more splinges and a number of amulets and even a circlet. We also check out where we are, and discover we are on the island of Bawal in Matan near the southwest corner of the main Island. (This is the same island the Calamar had a base on 3 months earlier.) There are 14 splinges, which seem to go 138 miles north east. The circlet is a silver magically enhanced concentration device. And the 6 amulets all have protection on them in the way of rank 0 special and general E&E counter spells that are shaped but they seem to have the downside of needing to wear them for a period of time before they activate, and you have to not be wearing it for the same length of time for you to be not under the same protection. They seem to be aptly described as Anti Baron Logan Amulets, since his college is E&E. They could be useful for another adventure.

Our captive is not even from this plane, from somewhere called Zentradia. And is some sort of mercenary. This is getting very complicated and so we communicate through the cockroach to the shaman, well Logan does. We tell him all that we have found out, including the plague, the amulets, the mercenaries and where we are. He advises us to swim to the coast of the main land. We definitely don't want to stick around and make moves to get ourselves off this island before those that escaped come back with reinforcements.

We get prepared to do this, as Anooke needs to make an ice barge to travel us over but the barge only holds five. Logan has this cool room which he can call up, which can be used to store gear, and even people short term. He takes an hour to prepare this, so we can get everyone over to the main land. While this is going on I check out Brother Lucius, who is still unwell but not cursed any more. Checking out what was done to him we find that a spell called Serenity in murder was cast on him to remove the curse in very short time.

We eventually travel over to the coast, and fix each up as best we can. Anooke somehow has picked up the plague sickness but none of us can currently remove the curse on him. Logan says he can try after he has spent some time resting. So we have made camp on the coast, with the room open, with Brother Lucius still unconscious, and one captive.

Entry Thirteen

18th Frost

This morning dawned bright and clear, and I wasn't stuck on a boat or on water. Yay. Logan spent some time preparing and was able to cure Anooke of the curse that was afflicting him.

While this was going on Kirgoth got to "chatting" with our captive about anything and everything. I stayed clear of that and just heard what Kirgoth told us later. It seems they, the mercenaries were hired to grab Brother Lucius as a trap for Baron Logan. It seems he's pissed someone off. They were to capture Logan and take him to their master... he doesn't really tell who that is, possibly a Lunar emperor or the Calamar. He seems sincere that he was only doing his job.

While discussing what to do with the prisoner, Anooke notices a weird red and blue cloud heading towards us. It seems to be raining red stuff. We let the prisoner go, who high tails it through the forest, some of us jump back into the room which Baron Logan packs up, and those on foot make it for the coast. Anooke casts another ice berg and people jump on it and head off down the coast. While getting onto the iceberg Logan got hit by some of the red rain, and came out all pustule, with blisters and burn damage. The ice berg keeps just ahead of the cloud until it dissipates, and the group head to shore again. The cloud came up as another Blood magic spell called Raining Blood. I'm starting to not like these people. (Note from Logan: The end-point of the the dimensional splinges is the same location the Blood magic is coming from)

We make shore, open room and let those of us inside out again. We discuss our options. Logan works out where we roughly are, and tells us that not far away is another dwarf portal site he has used previously. It's near a river nymph and if we can get there we can get away from this crazy place. We talk to the shaman through the cockroach again, and tell him what has happened including that we are being chased by Blood Magic. We tell him we have Brother Lucius, but he is unconscious. He tells us that help is on it's way. We carry on heading down the coast, trying to put as much distance between us and the baddies. However every so often Logan feels someone scrying him. This is starting to get more often, so someone knows where we are.

We travel using more icebergs along the coast, with some of us in the room and some outside. We travelled through the night and made it to shore during the morning sometime. I wasn't sure, time while in the room seems to differ than outside the room.

Entry Fourteen

19th Frost

We got let out of the room into the morning sun, and the others dragged Brother Lucius out of the room. We counter-spelled his magical sleep and prepared breakfast. We thought maybe the Brother could help us work out why this was all happening. But sadly it wasn't to be.

We communicate to Shareal again, and he advises that if help doesn't arrive, to head to Kota, or the nymph portal.

Brother Lucius woke up and began acting very oddly, grabs some of the raw meat planned for breakfast and begins eating it, and then tries to attack me. The others pull him off and make him sleep again and I check out what ails him.

It seems that not only was the curse removed from Brother Lucius, so was his soul. A Blood Magic spell called Black Serenade was used on him, which removes the soul and puts it into another vessel. It corrupts the soul and is so nasty.

And then we see this big flying thing heading along the coast, in our direction. Preparing for the worst we stand our ground as a huge black dragon lands on the beach, and then changes form into a rather cute elven male. We introduce ourselves and sit down to chat.

We let him know all that we have discovered so far, and he offers to heal those of us injured. He makes this magical circle thing and does some weird thing while we stand in it and we get healed. That included growing my fingers back which was way cool.

He then looks at Brother Lucius and tells us that he is ended, part of his soul is missing and can't be reunited. He ends Brother LLucius's life, which makes me rather sad. If this whole business of us trying to complete this spell had never happened, maybe Brother Lucius would still be alive. He says not to be sad, but I still have many "what if's" so he charges me to avenge his death. Not sure how I go about that, but I will do my best.

The dragon tells us that we need to retrieve the missing part of Brother Lucius's soul and take it to Christopher, his brothers servant. I guess our job description had now changed a bit. He offers to transport us somewhere closer to the dwarfs, and we agree and thank him. And next we are all in a big burnt our circle on a hill looking down on jungle. We wander down the hill and go through the jungle for a short while and come to the nymph statue, it's pool and stream. The portal is full of "pure water" and Anooke and Logan drink some before we push off into the jungle up in the direction Logan remembers the portal to be. We found the portal entrance and the right runes, and get zipped back to the dwarves.

We have much discussion about how we can retrieve the soul of the priest, but how do we locate where it is, and what does it look like. One option is to use the splinges and just turn up where ever they go, and just kill everything in sight. Or it could just all be another elaborate trap to get to Logan again. We could portal back to the nymph area and crystal ball the area, circling outwards until we find where the splinges end up. But time wise that isn't so good.

We discuss these issues with the dwarfs, and they make a number of suggestions and observations. Isreana who is the termite shaman know a bit about souls and might have some ideas on retrieving or locating one. She is apparently fae of some sort. Or Shareal may know more as he has had dealings with the "Children of the Abyss" which was some problem previously, and they do some sort of soul taking as well.

We confer with Shareal through my travelling companion cockroach, and he tells us that the King of the Sea will know how to find and identify the soul. And that the Northern Prince might know where the King is.

The dwarves have a portal that will bring us close to the city where the Northern Prince is. So we decide to go with this option. We plan, prepare and pop through their portal. We come out of some cave on a hill, and see the large town ahead. Not too hard to miss with huge clouds of smoke coming out from the town. The town is in an industrial faze, where they are creating lots of stuff, but causing lots of damage too. Icky, very sad.

Anyway, we travelled down to the town, finally a town not a rectangle. It has no walls, buildings are brick, but the way they were put together reminded me of a large army camp, with lots of tents all in formation. In the centre of the town are four huge furnaces, with huge chimneys, which were what was causing the huge clouds of smoke. The air in the town is icky, full of dust and smoke and everything is coated in grim and smoggy dust. I am glad we only stayed there briefly, I couldn't live like that.

We got directed to the governors building, it seems Logan has some knowledge of this place. We head into the first office and while Logan is asking for a meeting an old friend recognises him. Someone called Carlston, who apparently hired some guild members previously, which is where he knew Logan from. He tells us he is the Princes adviser or some such and can help us.

He leads us into another room, which has quite a bit of magic on it, as all the dust and grime on us falls off as we enter, to Kirgoths dismay... his collection has taken him a while to collect.

He provides refreshments and we tell him our tale of what we are doing. We mainly use the "we are here in the fight against evil" theme, and how we need to locate the King of the Sea to ask his help. He offers to make a portal for us to travel to the island that the King of the Sea is sometimes at. He also rummages in his rather large collection of trinkets and gives us a magical canoe boat thing, in case we need to get off the island.

He creates the portal, and we travel through. We have a quick look around, and discuss more about who the King of the Sea is. Carlston tells us it is actually a Blue Dragon called Chaaff and we talk some more about dragons as such and discover there are only 5 dragons in the whole kingdom. A blue one, a black one, a copper one, a green one, and a red one. He didn't know about the gold one we spotted. So we come to the conclusion that the Blue Dragon we saw in the dwarf caverns is probably the same one. We mention this to Carlston and he changes his portal to point to the caverns. He then zips back to his place. Some us us collect shells, especially me, and take them as a gift to the dragon, and stepped through the portal.

We travel back into the caverns, through the tunnels and end up at the cave where we saw the Blue Dragon sleeping. Anooke pops into the cavern and coughs alot, waking up the dragon. Logan quickly does some of his super talking and the Dragon doesn't look like it wants to eat us now. He got off his huge impressive pile of loot, and then changed into an elf. An older one, than the black one.

We tell him our whole story, and how we are looking to retrieve the priests soul and have been advised that he could help us. He wanders off into a side room, we see lots of aerie lights and an hour or two later he comes back telling us that the bad guys have traded the soul to someone else. A newcomer to the island, which we ask and get confirmation that it's the spider shaman person. This person has taken us residence in where the Children of the Abyss were. And that if we use the splinges that the bad guys are waiting for us at the other end.

He gave us each a special amulet, which he says will protect us from undead and that we can keep them. He tells us that the servants of the bad dude have the soul, the spider shaman doesn't have it yet. And there ended our audience. We thanks him and left.

We headed back to the dwarf part of the caverns, and are preparing to sleep and catch up on rest. It's been a very busy day.

Entry Fifteen

20th Frost

It is hard to tell if it is morning inside the dwarf caverns. And although I like earth, I'm not sure I am keen on being this much inside of it. And I woke to find that my travelling companion, Bob the cockroach, had died. I'll bury him when we get back up to earth.

Anyway, after breakfast we got to talking to the dwarves about what or who were the "Children of the Rifts" and that was a long conversation. Apparently they are small children like figures that attack people far away near a town in the hills. The "children" ambush boats on a particular river, with no survivors, so there is very little information about them as such.

We ended up packing again, and heading to a new portal which the dwarves told us lead us close to the town at the head of the river where these "children" ambush.

And we stepped through and ended up on another hill, which we could see another town from. From there the town looked like one giant mud puddle, which was exactly what it looked like up closer.

We traipsed through jungle and got to the town around lunchtime. No rectangle, no walls, just one muddy shanty town, with tents and not many real houses. It had a very run down ghetto feel to it, but my there were many taverns. Apparently the town is a mining tow, and mine for gold. They send a shipment of gold once every 3 months down the river to the bit city. And it's the gold boats that get ambushed. As we entered the town we saw what looked like an arena, where people were getting prepared to fight. And on asking the locals it seems this happens every shipment. The guards are chosen by being winners in the fighting tournaments, as the gold mine owners want able people to protect the shipment from pirates. And any guards that survive and the shipment gets delivered, they get a share in the gold sale.

We also hear that the main pirates they are wary of are the "midget" ones several miles down river, and that there is even a bounty on the heads if someone goes clear them out.

We head to the sheriff's to get more information, and indeed discover there is a bounty of gold to those that return after clearing out the midgets. They are in some cavern down the river. When we enquire that we want to go have a try, we are told the last group never came back. We get given the name of a boat owner, Old Dave, who will take us down river, and wait three days before coming back. He can be used to verify that it's cleared out. But he hasn't brought anyone back yet. We register we are on a hunt.

We go looking for Old Dave, and find him in the Scarlett's Trumpet, a seedy tavern down close to the wharf. There is much buying of drinks, even Kirgoth checks out the upstairs entertainment of the premises. He accepts our drinks, and money, and buys himself a large bottle of whiskey, and then leads us to his boat... he weaves the boat out into the middle of the river and then falls asleep, while we drift down river. Anooke looks into fishing and does catch some fish, but when we ask Dave about them when he is awake he names them all as Ripper fish. And no surprising there, all were varying sizes and shapes, but all had huge teeth, hense why all the boatsmen we had seen were carrying machete's.

Four hours later he wakes up, and proceeds to start drinking his whiskey. Four and a half hours later than that, he begins singing loud lude and rawkus songs.

We sleep in the boat, very uncomfortable, apart from those on watch and around dawn Dave actually begins using a paddle. Later in the day Dave pulls the boat into the lee of the bank, and points out the cave on the hill a wee distance. He tells us he will stay here to look after the boat, and meet us back here. Then drinks the rest of the bottle and falls asleep.

We discuss tactics, use crystal balls and mage's eye to get a closer look at things. Kirgoth observes the inside of the cavern and describes 5 or 6 substantial shadowy figures, around 20 children like figures lying on the ground and a glowing warm egg-shaped thing in the main cavern. We assume it's the soul container. Everything else comes back as cold, undead, blarg.

We discuss tactics, sort out weapons which will damage undead or spectral baddies, and put on all the protection we can. We then head into the cave entrance.

Shortly into the entrance of the cavern, we can see all the bodies on the ground, we see one of the children stand up and in a wee voice say "Help me", and start walking towards us with outstretched hand. As we enter more into the cavern, more children stand up and start adding their plaintive "help me". Kirgoth rushes up and kills one, knocking another one out. I feel the death and call out that they may be alive but it is Anooke that works out they are possessed.

Those with decent weapons engage, and as the children die, a spectral form rises out of their bodies and continues to fight. As they do pour out of the bodies, they have different effects on some of us, some go berserk, some flee in terror, or just wimper alot. And now that the children are closer, they pull out evil looking daggers and grin with evil pointy sharp teeth and attack as well.

It's all go as Kirgoth chops into them, causing children bodies to fall and spectrals to rise, and then spectrals to fall. He gets very hurt in the process and some of us try to help, but often get zapped by the fear of the specters. More combat, more die, we are more hurt and eventually Brundar goes down being protected by his golums. I try to rush in to help but also got pushed back by the horror of the spectors. Eventually Kirgoth goes down and it's down to Anooke and Logan. Logan tells the last spector to go away, and it flees through the wall of the cave. We quickly heal, and drag the children bodies outside where they burst into flame. We tried chopping off the heads, to take back to the town, but even they too burst into flames as we left the main entrance.

We do some poking about, someone sees a spider, which we know is odd. There are no spiders on this island, well, there were none at all until the spider shaman thing turned up. So the spider is killed.

After much examining, and removing what traps we could, we retrieve the glowy egg item from the box it was in... YAY! We have the soul!

We discuss how we are going to prove we cleared the cave, when we know there is still at least 1 spectrally thing left behind as we walk back through the jungle to Dave. Anooke feels it's safe enough to take Dave back to the cave for him to see it's cleared, but as they clear the jungle they can see the whole cave entrance is covered in spiders, and spider webs... this freaks out Dave a bit. And our constant discussion about spiders, and Logan feeling someone scrying him again, causes Dave to start moving rather fast back through the undergrowth, back towards town, rather fast.

We follow, but he seems to be getting further ahead of us, so we speed up to try and catch up.

But as we get closer he veers off the trail and jumps into the river, to get away from us... we move to the edge of the stream, calling for Dave, and give up. I wonder what we said that made him jump into a river full of Ripper's... odd.

Anyway, we pause for a breather and Logan begins the ritual to open his room. But in the middle of the ritual he feels someone scrying him again. He rushes a locate spell and gets an arrow pointing in the direction of where the scry is coming from. But it keeps moving, and we workout that it is flying, heading in our direction as it swoops over us.

It swings back around and swoops over us again, a winged humanoid figure. It casts some spell and Shiraz and I are screaming in pain on the ground. It swings by again, and Anooke goes berserk, activating some sort of flying device, rushing into the air at this thing. He tries to hit it but flying and fighting is tricky. Logan casts some spells and the thing goes away. And then the thing flies away rather fast, and Anooke doesn't feel the compulsion to kill it any longer, so he heads back to us.

Shiraz and I are dragged out of the spell radius and recover. Much healing and checking out each other is done. We discover the area spell cast was called Here comes the pain, which caused extreme pain and agony. And the spell cast on Anooke was called Die by the sword, which caused him to go into a berserk killing rage against the caster.

We make camp to try and recover, and Logan opens his room so we can hide inside. Can't seem to feel the scrying when he's in there.

We discuss plans, not going back to town sounds good. We will avoid that, and just head back to the dwarven portal. We will travel faster up the river using Anooke's icebergs, so Shiraz and Kirgoth both end up inside Logan's room this time, with the rest of us on the ice berg.

We make good time up the river, until Logan feels another scry. He casts another arrow on it and it is again moving. We try some ranged weapons on him, with not much evidence we hurt him. He cast another spell on us, and Brundar ended up in the water. Logan was able to magically retrieve him before the fish had a nibble, which is more than I can say for me... We got a better look at him this time, he seemed to be human with some sort of mask on him. But the avian bird features looked real, talons for feet and wings with no neck either. Very bird like and very odd.

Entry Sixteen

21st Frost

The evil nasty came back a third time not long after dawn today and I ended up in the river, and had a chunk of leg bitten off by those pesky fish. But this time Logan was prepared and he cast sleep on him and he fell out of the sky into the river. We captured him...

At this point we made for the bank and tied up the baddie, removing pretty much everything from him. The mask he was wearing came back as magical, and the weird armour he was also wearing came back magical. Logan opened his room, and we spent some time all working out what we could on the objects.

The mask was "formally living", dead skin mask, seemed to be the skin off someone's face, and had enhancement to senses on it. Further investigation revealed it was the flayed skin of an 8 year old child, and would give the wearer triple perception, no wonder he could find us in the jungle. But it also had a side affect of affecting the aura of the wearer, making it dark.

The armour was cursed with torment, a spell like affect called Aggressive perfector which caused regeneration, but was made from the solidified blood droplets from small children. The wearer gained 7 steps in armour protection and 2 steps in regeneration, but they would also be tormented by the souls of the children. The damage absorbed could also syphon off spell damage, but we weren't to sure on the specifics.

The dude himself came back as long lived sentient, but also as lesser undead sentient, half wraith. A dark evil had corrupted him and a mark on his soul directly opposed to the light side. Add in the factor he is a blood mage and you have evil bad dude. He had some weird spells in affect on him too, one called Screaming from the sky which would account for his flying state, and another called Spirit in black which I really don't want to know about. It also appears he has a Death Curse spell at the 6th step of strength, which was why Anooke cast hibernate on him. He should be asleep for about 81 days. We locked him up in a side room of Logan's room, and make haste to get back to the dwarves.

QUOTE FOR SEAGATE TIMES
Logan: I had hundreds of children rub their hands on my staff, up and down, to make it extremely smooth.

Entry Seventeen

22nd Frost

The day passes as we travel up the river via iceberg.

We hear noise and pull under the jungle the hangs over the river. The gold barge boat passes us by. And we then pull back out and head back up towards the town.

We make for the bank and walk into town just as dusk approaches. We head to a more up-market establishment called The Nugget, and go in. The owner "Hiram Worchester" is a chattable man, and Logan makes small talk with him. We order food, rooms and entertainment. I got another lovely bath.

Entry Eighteen

23rd Frost

As dawn approached we headed off towards the dwarf portal cave. We made good time and meet up with the dwarves. We got them to have a look at the mask and armour, and they got nasty vibes as well.

We then headed to the Blue Dragon and as soon as we entered his cave he asked about the nasty things we were carrying. He sensed the souls trapped in the items and he had a good long look at them. After some time he said he would need some help with them, and after four and a half hours 2 people turned up. One was an 8ft talk emaciated man, but he sounded like Vidal, and then a young woman in her 30's or 40's, humanish with an elvish tinge, 5'11" with long dark hair. They both followed Chaaff into his side room. After some more time, they all came out, and Vidal now looked like a golden haired halfling.

They asked for some donated blood for their ritual, and we all donated. We filled a goblet, and they did some wierd thing with the armour, each droplet is destroyed and out comes a white wisp which entered the goblet. There were so many wisps. And then the mask was rolled up and put into the goblet. And the mask began to burn with a aerie green flame. The wisps came out of the goblet and you could see the children's faces. They lingered as the flames burnt and then they all dissipated as the flames end. The goblet was left empty. I hope they are in a happy place.

The lady turned to us, the first time she had actually acknowledges us really, and thanked us, and then quickly left. I wonder if she is a dragon.

Vidal also thanked us and said that we are owed some answers if we ever turn up to ask them. He also left.

We then headed back to the Dwarves to let them know what we found out and to crash.

Entry Nineteen

24th Frost

Sent a message to the Guild to let the other group know that we had located the flautist. We also received some messages back that they had left. We have decided to wait here for them, so we are going to have the rest of the day off to rest and catch up on sleep. I also washed everything I could, it's drying at the moment. I'll wash the rest tomorrow once I've had some more sleep.

Entry Twenty

25th Frost

Nothing much today. We chatted to the dwarves, I had a wander around the caverns and finished up cleaning my belongings. No word from the other group yet. Maybe tomorrow.

Entry Twenty One

26th Frost

Around mid-day, well I think it was mid-day. Hard to tell in these caverns. Anyway, the other group showed up. We spent the afternoon catching up on Seagate gossip, what they have been doing, what we have been doing, and about our captive.

The other group is made up of Kit or Sir Christoper, a holy knight of some sort. Seems important. Silverfoam, a nice Namer who apparently knows more about blood magic. I hope he has a counter spell, must ask him tomorrow. Father Broc, not sure what he does, something magical, and a dwarf called MDK...

I was right, that lady who meet up with Chaaff was a dragon. I wonder what colour. And wow, Vidal is also a dragon. I mean, wow. I wonder what colour he is too. I'll try to remember to ask.

Rightio, we got quickly down to business after much gossiping and telling stories about people I didn't know. Three things came out of our catch up on "they have found the flute" and "we have the flautist", especially as we have a few weeks until the big ritual thingy that they are needed for.

1 was we need to divinate the guy we have captive and find out more about him. 2 was to see if we can cure the plague or at least get rid of the amulets so they don't cause more deaths/plagues. 3 was to reduce the not nice spider shaman's influence or activities on the island, since his whole "filling a cave full of spiders" isn't a nice thing.

WATCHES

Watches for the 12 hours of Darkness: W=on watch; S= on standby (resting but ready); D=divinating P= purifying. Menolly, Lizette, & SF may be doing healery things instead of S/D

Sir Kit lulls to sleep all not on W or S in 1st hr.
1st: Kirgoth, Kit, Logan W: Menolly S (or camp duties).
2nd: Kit, Logan W: Menolly S.
3-4: MDK, Broc W.
5th: Logan, Menolly W; Lizette D.
6th: Logan, Menolly, Lizette W.
7th: Kirgoth, Anooke, Lizette W.
8th: Kirgoth, Anooke, Silverfoam W.
9th: Kit, Brundar, Silverfoam W.
10th: Kit, Brundar W; Silverfoam D.
11th: MDK W; Brundar P; Either Broc P & SF W, OR Broc W & SF D.
12th: MDK, Broc W; Brundar prepares breakfast; other mages P.

Divinating the bad guy - what we found out

His plane of Origin is Alusia.
General True Name is Demi-Wraith.
Originally human, has had life extensions, and recently undead.
Something is trying to get in contact with him.
Question: What plane is the person who is trying to contact him... Alusia.
Question: What will his deathcurse do? Turn you into a greater undead.
Question: Name of power pacted to... no response but the nothing was flavoured with the same feeling of others aligned to or minion of Lord Arindale (whoever he is)
Question: What spells have impacted over the last 3 months...
- Screaming from the Sky
- Spirit of Dark
- Aggressive Perfector
- Skin Mask
- Threshold (some sort of area affect)
- Circle of Beliefs (a long term mind control sort of spell where the caster gives benefits to the target)
- Mind Control (another mind controlling spell)
- Disciple (another mind controlly thing which is loyalty affecting, which makes all those under the spell the same as blood brothers)
Scarily all these are rituals and involve the sacrifices of sentients... what a big nasty mess. He also had sleep, snowballs and hiberate on him, which we knew about since we caused them.

So, we keep him hibernated for a while longer I guess.

Baron Logan also wanted a disguise so he can hide from all the scrying. I believe what they did was pop off into another plane, change his race and looks and then popped back. Wow. These guys are good.

We then had more discussions, it took ages to decide who would be party leader. I'm still not quite sure who it is, but I think Sir Kit is, and Brundar is our spokes person to the dwarves.

We work out there are a number of factions affecting us and what we are doing, and we need to work on those, to either reduce the numbers or have them change who they are focused on. But no-one could agree on which we look into, so we decide to go see Vidal and ask him, since some of us are owed some questions.

We travelled through the dwarven caverns and portals, like the last time we visited, using some really fast canoe-thing that Silverfoam can do... why water and not legs, I have no idea. These big powerful adventurers seem to do things way too fast.

Anyway, we travel round the forgetful lake and to the village. This time we paused at the village temple, to ask about how the Balai see death and if they believe in some sort of reincarnation. Basically we have the soul of Brother Lucious, will he be lost forever or will be join back into the world when it is his time. The temple in the village is rather large and very alike to the one in Boenoel, a four sided pagoda with shrines and offerings and the like.

Some of us go inside and have a chat to the priests, and it is as we feared. Yes they do believe in the wheel of life, when you die you do get the chance to come back. But if your sould had been taken some way un-natural, then you wont be able to get back onto the wheel. We will have to find a way for Brother Lucious to enter back into the wheel if we can.

We thanked the priests and headed onto Vidal and the bone place. He was sitting inside playing chess with a set of Seelie and Unseelie figures. It was very pretty, but I don't really understand the game. I guess that might be something to learn.

We told Vidal everything about what we had been up to, including the other group finding the flute. He was very Hmm about it all until we mentioned the cave now filled with spiders. That caused him to create this big balloony ball of fire and blow it off into the wind. Ohh, I wonder if that will help us with our problem 3.

Anyway, we talk to him and he says that for all the information we have given him, we can all have a question, except the dwarf MDK. And we can come back that evening to ask if we can't think of a question now.

Evening

same day

I discovered that Sir Kit had built some sort of temple close to here, since he was here with Baron Logan another time. So we all head there to camp the night. Sir Kit then does some more building... I have no idea how but the building built a stable onto itself. He then consecrated the temple part of the building. We are all staying in that part, except MDK. Hmmm...

We talk more into the evening and still can't decide what else we are going to do. Sir Kit and Father Broc then pray and vanish. Gone, poof. And then a short time later they re-appear. It seems that they do that sort of thing when they pray. Well, I never knew.

Anyway, while they were where ever, they got told that to get rid of the plague that the flute will do it. And that to destroy the crystal in the cavern, the flute will be destroyed as will the player. So if we are to get rid of the plague we will need to do it before the ritual. But that we must be careful as if the flute is damaged, then the ritual wont work. Dilema.

Also there are 4 factions against us. And we need to remove 1 of these.

We spend some time going over who the factions are, and come up with more than four as we don't really know who is dealing with each other yet.

We have:
Blood mages
(not sure if they are working with someone else or on own)
Calamar possibly responsible for the amulets and plague
Children of the Rifts
Spider Shaman (who is very tough and has had many months to rebuild since the last battle) possibly demonic?
The Arindale chap (don't know much about him, a shaper?)
Orcs (been stirring up trouble locally, attacking/killing villages etc. maybe not related)
Metamorphs (some ancient race that was/is? on these islands)
Air Elementals (the ones that make flying so deadly, but they have been known to make arrangements with others in the past)
Roche the gold dragon who "happens" to be in the area and "happened" to get woken up recently
The Shamans (a powerful force on the islands)

SO yeah, we really don't know much about who is playing with who, and who has alteria motives, and I reckon if we could make some of them focus on each other, our lives would be so much easier. But finding the relavent information will be tricky.

Kirgoth went and visited Vidal and asked him a question about healing the city with the plague. Many will have lost their lives while we have been wandering around the jungle hunting Brother Lucous's missing soul. He gets told about the flutes ability to destroy the amulets, but the problem of getting sidetracked and the flute possibly getting damaged if the factions try to stop us. When this issue is discussed with the dwarves, they tell us that this city isn't the only one to get the plague, so we have a bigger issue than we thought. Also the others mentioned that the last time they got rid of the amulets, the unprogrammed ones, they ended up making a rather large hole in a hill. Crater size. We would have to gather all the amulets from the city and then destroy them, as setting them off might cause heads to explode. Kinda defeats the purpose of trying to save them.

I went and asked Vidal about the whole flying thing I've ben having issues with. I miss my babies, and want them to be able to travel with me, but I don't want them to end up hurt like Briar did last time. So I need a way that I can train them to be able to fly when under a flying sort of spell. So I asked if there was someone who can teach me how to train non-flying pets how to fly using magical spells. He told me Kareem can. Don't know who Kareem is, but that's a start. I need to get my flying up a bit first too. Will try to remember to do that when I have some time in the guild next.

Anyway, back in the temple Kit had been thinking on Brother Lucous and his spirit and how we can get someone to use the spirit to play the flute when the time comes. Since there is no body, and no bits of body to regrow one, the soul needs to go into another body.

Kit tries a few things, praying, holding the egg thing, nothing happens. He then stuck it in his mouth and tried playing the flute with it. While doing this the egg thing broke and the soul merged with him. He says he can feel it sitting there, in the back of his mind, separate at the moment, all quiet like, just lurking in the background. Creepy, how would you know whose thoughts you were thinking... but I guess that is one way around it.

The thing about the ritual, it seems that when it happens, the cavern with the crystals will be destroyed and who ever is playing the flute has to be inside it to do it. SO I guess Kit has a plan. He seems rather tough. Maybe this disappearing when you pray thing might help.

The night then disolved into arguing, mostly arguing about how to kill our sleeping bad guy. Yeah, I know he's bad, but surely there is another way around it rather than kist murdering him. Maybe there are some officals that we can hand him over to, and they can deal with it. Anyway they were talking about removing skulls, capturing souls, killing him because it's easier to question the dead... who have I got involved with... I hate the fact that sometimes the only way to stop someone trying to kill me is to hurt them enough to stop, and that it can sometimes lead to their death. I hate it. But discussing murder so casually like it's the same as walking or breathing, I'm not sure I like this aspect of some of the guild members. There must be a better way. I just hope I can give Brother Lucous justice without having to cause another death, it would make his death seem meaningless otherwise.

When Father Broc came back from playing chess with Vidal he did mention Vidal had said "the dreams are from the Irdanians... not sure who they are, must ask tomorrow, if I don't die in my sleep.

Entry Twenty Two

27th Frost

(dream) We all end up having a similiar or same dream. It includes a huge open plain, all dead, and as we travel over the plain we can see a tower in the centre.

(information from the others on the flute trip that is brought up during breakfast) Aparantly the maker of the crystal amulets and the plague is the man in the tower on the Plateau of Decay. It's a tower in the centre of the plateau, which is also above the 5 or 6 levels of the crystal mines and caverns. When the ritual happens in a months time, it will destroy all of that, and probably the tower too. The man might be very interested in stopping us. And the others say he is this Arindale chap. And apparantly the area around the tower has some sort of area magical fail thing on it too. That will make for an interested time.

We woke (yay!) and it was decided that the Spider shaman dude and the Children of the Rifts is the place to investigate first. So we back track to the dwarve caverns, portal back to the hill overlooking the mud mining town, and head down the river to where the cavern was. We avoided the town and headed down on some canoe things that Kit and Brundar organised. Logan felt scrying again, and from all over the place ie spiders and spidery like bugs in the forest, so they know we are here. We stopped chatting and Silverfoam made us all invisible but it seemed we could still be spotted.

We pulled into the banks a bit further away this time, so we could creep up and check out the place. There was a lot of spell preparations, getting all set before getting too close. Then a large noise heading in our direction was heard. It was a herd of jungle animals, predator and prey alike, all charging in our direction. When they finally passed, I checked one of the corpses Kirgoth caused and they were under a spell called Possessive Riding, like a mind control thing. To control that many is rather scary. Some lovely creatures died in that mess, rather sad.

As we creeped up to the edge of the jungle to look at the cavern entrance, we noticed some new things that weren't there last time. 4 poles with skulls on top, around the cavern entrance. Look like orc skulls. Much peering, wizard eying and so forth. They are some sort of undead construct, linked to an area activation spell on the area around the entrance, which tries to destroy the targets. We try to work out how to deactivate it, but it seems we are still too close in the jungle and the skulls start powering up. Much charging and hitting things happens. The skulls turned into undead skelatal creatures. Much smitting happens.

Spiders, large dog size ones, and other spider-like creatures then pour out of the cavern entrance and keep up occupied for a bit. Seems these are also rather nasty, poisonous, bite, and when they go poof there is a dust issue to deal with.

We eventually kill off the skull things, and the first wave of spidery things. Father Broc used some sort of wandy thing and fireballed the cavern entrance. The front fighters head to the cavern entrance, and set off something which causes a lot of the entrance to collapse. No one was hurt in it, but the entance is now rather small and crawl like, which doesn't bode well.

Logan sends in a wizards eye to look around and sees 4 more large spiders not far from the entrance. Kit does something and disappears, Father Broc crawls in, and those of us still outside hear much combat through the entrance. Me and Kirgoth keep watch over the jungle, squishing spiders and spidery things, as people slowly head through the entrance. Logan slows the spiders. Anooke is next, and Logan spots more figures further back in the cavern. 4 humanoid figures with bows. Logan slows the archers. More combatty sounds as the fighters battle the big spiders (now down to 3), and then Silverfoam leans into the entrance and shoots this fireball wand over the others at the archers down the back.

There is much more fighting, and Anooke took a bleeder in the arm. MDK went berserk and jumped over the top of the spiders (rather a high jump for a dwarf) and charges at the archers. And then Sir Kit does some weird thing and all the cave in turns into water and clears the entrance of the cave. Yay, we can get in to help, but after we pick ourselves up off the ground were we all got pushed over to. MDK falls over and spends some time keeping the floor warm. Those nasty archers had shot him rather badly.

The archers moved further into the cavern, leading us to two different caverns. They also used some weird spidery magic on us. Not very nice. The spiders were dispatched, and one of these archery things. Seems they are undead of some sort, minions to something bigger. One of the spells used was plague of spiders, and area effect which seemed to make people feel they like they are covered in bugs.

Kit, MDK (now fixed) and Anooke chased after the archers, and end up down a cavern away from the rest of the party. The disappear from sight. Silverfoam does some healing of the rest of the group and we head in the direction of the other half of the group. The corridor is covered in a icky weird web and as we break through the web I lose the rest of the group. Don't know where they went, but I was on my own.

There seemed to be some magical effect on the whole corridor, making the corridor like a maze. I investigated the corridor effect and came up with something called Maze of the spider which was on the walls and ground. The icky web is also living. How weird is that. It seems to be some sort of weird spawning ground creature.

Silverfoam seems to believe that he knows the way, so his group get out a rope and the group hold onto one end while Silverfoam heads down one of the corridors to where the others are. He is following a locate which he has on Anooke. It leads him down a corridor and then the locate blinks out(Anooke going interplane) and leaves Silverfoam on own. He continues a bit further and comes to a large open cavern. This huge cavern is all covered in web and in the centre is a web tunnel heading down. As Silverfoam inviestigates a huge spider comes out, grabs Silverfoam and drags him into the web tunnel. He gets tied up and left dangling upside down over the funnel. The web has the GTN of "Web of the spider" and the plane of origin of the spider:animal is Alusia.

Meanwhile, off on another plane Kit, MDK and Anooke run into some other weird webby stuff. Kit gets caught, so when the other 2 return to our plane, Kit is trapped and doesn't return. He ends up summoning some elemental thing to break him out of the web. And it seems since the web is alive, the elemental has to fight the guardian thing. I didn't really understand what he told me after all this happened. But it sounded dangerous.

Back in the tunnels the rest of the party (Logan, Father Brock, Brundar, Kergoth and Boris the Golum are holding onto the end of a rope when it stops moving. Someone uses a wizards eye and follows along the rope to see if Silverfoam has found me, and instead finds the rope wedged into a block of ice, and Silverfoam dangling upsidedown above a big round hole which is warm and has a glowing volcanic look to down the webbed hole... not a good look for Silverfoam. The follow the rope and end up in the huge cavern.

Anooke and MDK reappear in the cavern, the huge spidery thing tries to capture them too. The others arrive and join in. I work out that the alive webs have a centre and so follow the webs to their centre and enter the same cavern. And as combat gets interesting Kit finally reappears.

The huge spider isn't all spider it seems, with a GTN coming back with part Giant Spider and part Demonic Avatar. It seems it is long lived, sentient, very healthy and it's only weakness if an elemental call Malphus whoever that is.

Anyway, the Spider had downed Brundar and had grabbed him and jumped down the hole, down through the web and freefalling into the huge cavern below... with the volcanic lava. Father Brock heroically jumps down the hole, stabbing at the spider, with no safety net, wings or rope. Very brave. Kit also jumps down the hole, after the spider, Father Brock and the unconcious Brundar. The Spider drops Brundar and leaps to a wall of the cavern. Kit does some weird thing and the three freefallers all disappear.

Anooke has some sort of flying thing, so hops down into the hole and gets in position to try and catch them as they come bck. Kit took them into that other plane again and moved all three of them together so they can grab hold of each other. And as Kit has this flying/floating thing, they reappear together in the hole. There is some flying and floating and everyone gets back up to safety. It was very dramatic. The webs are then set alight, and we all rush out of the cave, breathing smoke and gunk. The entrance is sealed and the smoke is used to wander around the hill and close up any other exits so the giant spider thing doesn't get out. He's a bit big for us to get today.

While doing the rounds we do spot a pile of tracks heading away from the hill into the jungle of more of those huge dog-sized spiders, and the 2 legged undead creatures. I guess another group will have to come back sometime to clean up those. I'm not sure how the dragons are going to like that. There used to be no spiders on these islands.

Entry Twenty Three

28th Frost

Back at the dwarfs, we catch them up on what we did at the cave and they invite us to stay with them to wait the 6 weeks or so until it is time for the flute ritual which we accept. It would be nice to not have to trapse through jungle for a while, although I will need to go topside a bit. Not sure if I can cope with 6 weeks underground.

Entry Twenty Four

28th Frost to 3rd Ice

The nice dwarves offered to train me in a new spell and they had many to choose from. Over the battle with the spider the one spell that Anooke cast that saved Kergoth from completely dying was one called Trollskin. I asked if they could teach me this, as it would be very useful for keeping Basil and Briar out of trouble. They have a slightly different way of doing magic here, something to do with the magical aura in places on the island. It's very runic in style and so we spend some time working out how to adapt what they do to my style of magic and eventually I can cast the spell. I also spent some time studying the local fauna and think I will see if I can befriend a wee monkey before I leave here. It would be fun to have a pet that can travel on me, so flying isn't too much of a hassle. I miss my babies, I hope they are well.

(Over these 6 weeks Menolly adds an appendix to the back of her diary about the Animals of Insel der Freiheit she saw, and sketches of what they looked like and other details she noted. She talks to some of the dwarfs and adds anything they know about the animals to her notes)

(Menolly adds a second appendix, with some notes on Weird plants of Insel der Freiheit Menolly noted in the jungle. A third appendix includes some notes on Recipes from Insel der Freiheit that she noted as very odd and didn't really want to try but were worth recording to warn others not to try them)

Entry Twenty Five

Over the gap while we are training we come up with a cunny plan on how to get into the chamber where Kit has to play the flute for the ritual. We come up with many ideas and many are chucked out. Eventually we end with one foolproof plan. We need a fast way to get to the tower, one that the occupants wont suspect. We need a way of getting into the tower, and then getting down the staircase to the base of the tower. All needs to be done fast and effortlessly.

We come up with the information that the tower gets supplies delivered, and has mined goods picked up on a regular basis. If we disguised ourselves as one of these groups, we could get to the tower without too much notice. So we need a floating ship.

We can probably bash our way into the tower, but we have the problem of the magic-nulling effects which are in place in and around the tower. Whatever we do needs to be able to withstand that. So flying might be a problem. Gollums or elementals should be ok. So we come up with a cunny plan of Brundar making a special boat-like gollum which we can ride in to get down the stairwell to the bottom. Big, sturdy and made so it skims around the walls. He makes such a thing. We plan well and have everything organised so nothing can go wrong.

Date of ritual

We leave the dwarfs and pass through their portals to get us as close to the Plains of Decay as they can help us get to. We set off in the commandeered flying vessel. As we get closer we power up with all the preparation spells we can. We fly into the tower's docking bay, prepared for trouble, and disembark. There is no resistance, maybe our disguise has worked. As we want a flying vessel to get home in, Kit flies the ship up away from the tower, to park it in orbit while we carry out our clearfully thought out plan.

While he is doing that, the rest of us barge into the tower, and get the stair-sailing gollum into place and load up our gear and ourselves.

This is where things go horribly horribly wrong. I'm not sure if it was the excitment of getting into the tower, or the lack of resistance, but before Kit had even finished parking the ship in the air Silverfoam had us all into the gollum boat and instructed for us to head down the stairs.

The gollum boat works a dream, we zoom down and round the very swirly staircase, down, down into the depths of the tower. It is rather fast and quite fun, and then we get to the bottom and overshoot the cavern at the bottom. Only then do we realise we had left Kit, and the Ice Elemental that Anooke had summoned. Kit still in the air somewhere, and the Ice Elemental back at the top of the stairs. Oops.

All still in the gollum, Silverfoam then cast another watery sailing spell to make the gollum move over to the doors where we need to go. But as we are now in a chamber with those icky crystals, and the end target area of the spell also goes through cystals, the spell goes horribly wrong. Instead of water filling the space from the boat to the doors, the area is filled with some sort of green icky slime which seems to be giving off these ghastly vapours. Luckily we thought there might be some smelly vapours down here already and everyone has a spell on them so we can breathe. However it doesn't cover up the smell... rotten eggs are never the best anywhere...

Silverfoam counterspells the spell, and casts another spell, but it too goes horribly wrong and just fills the chamber with a jelly-like substance. We have to forceably stop him from casting anymore as we are worried about any further magical effects. Most of us clamber out of the gollum and start making our way across the chamber, to the large double doors leading to where we need to play the flute.

Then we are attacked. We are attacked by a lone minion, more like an sneaky scouty assassin. He sneaks round the crystal outcrops and joined up stalagmites and stalatites and throws deadly missiles at us. Poor old MDK seems to get an overly large amount of them. They start as small dart-like things, and then once they hit they turn into javelins. He ended up with so many he could hardly move. (good thing those trollskin spells were still working) The bad guy throws more things, acid, and others get hurt. I got hit by one of the javelin-dart things. Poisoned.

More minions, undead ones this time, climb out of the crystal pillars and start attacking us. They are rather damaging and several of us go down from their onslaught. Anooke was very brave and kept attacking them, even with no back-up. It seemed like the undead were able to heal themselves any time we got hurt by them, which wasn't very nice.

Then more figures came through the large doors, including this huge dwarf figure, who turned out to be alive, and a magic user. That caused all sorts of problems. He cast some sort of spell on Brundar, and he went down.

I got hit by one of the undead, and when I was able to notice things again the chamber was awash with blood, some spell affect from the dwarf apparantly. I got hit again and went out like a light.

Anooke told me later that not long after I went down, Brundar's gollums took on the undead trying to get at him. When the undead retreated into a crystal pillar they tried hitting the pillar and it caused a weird magical effect of a huge swarm of rats to spill out of the pillar. Of course the vapours started killing them off as soon as they come out, but they did push over a number of people.

Father Brock was hit by some weird pigmy biting creatures that latched onto him. The others stuck in the boat were able to get out and come and help. More baddies, archers this time, came through the large doors to cause more problems. I had my hand chopped off, don't remember it myself thank goodness. This has definitely been an adventure for hand injuries.

More major fighting, people started dropping like flies and were piling up on the ground. Anooke said he even had to go rescue Father Brock and Silverfoam from one of the bigger baddies.

Eventually Kit arrived, and helped rally the team, take out the archers, help take out some of the few remaining undead or at least scare off some so our healers could bring some of us around again. He then rushed off into the big chamber and played the flute, making all the crystal go boom, while the others dragged the rest of us (and any loot) back into the tower.

We make it out of there, with some loot, and headed back. Anooke was a super hero in my books and killed lots of the undead baddies, but ended up with a level 32 death curse on him, so we have had him put himself into hibernate while we transport him back to the Guild to get the curse removed. (Cursed to follow The Master at midnight) Luckily someone was able to help my hand, and MDK's javelin size holes. And it seems the nasty evil I had to deal to, who caused Brother Lucious's soul to be sucked out, was one of the nasty undead that got killed in the process. I'm glad he wont be doing that again.

We got back to the dwarves, got as rested up as we could and got to look over the spoils of the day. We divide up the loot, and head back to the Guild a job completed.